Waking up

I try to work out in the mornings. Early. 5:15am or 5:30am. Pitch black, warm bed, sleeping children, whirring fan, comfy pj’s. It is hard to leave the comforts of home, but I try to remind myself that it’s only an hour. I’m only waking up an hour’ish earlier than I normally would.

Some days I listen to myself better than others.

One thing that I love about a morning workout is driving through my neighborhood and watching it wake up. After I’m done and on my way home, around 6:30 or so, I see a few dog walkers, kitchen lights on, the blue screen of a TV sharing the news. I picture sleepy-eyed children, showers steaming up, coffee brewing, phones being checked. Watching it all makes me feel like I’m in on this little secret ritual of everyone’s day.

I’m a little envious of the houses that are still dark, or those that are quietly easing into the day. I know that as soon as I hit the door, there are requests for ponytails, showers to be had, and schedules to discuss. But that is OK … it’s our ritual and then I wonder if someone is peeking in on us.

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Tra la la la la …

I had a conversation with my friend ET recently about blogs and the activities on them just feeling a bit too staged. I mean, I get it. When I take a photo that may end up on the blog, or Instagram, or Facebook, I may take extra care to shove the dirty dishes out of the way, wipe someone’s face, or make sure I don’t have lipstick on my teeth. But sometimes I don’t and that is OK.

I certainly don’t post every day, don’t get paid for this stuff, and know that coming up with exciting content is not my job. I just find myself wondering … does this stuff really happen in anyone’s REAL life? I’ve always said that Facebook only shows the fairy dust and happiness of everyone’s lives or the moaning and groaning of how hard their life is and most of those people are quickly hidden from my feed. Most days, the fairy dust doesn’t bother me at all.

Sometimes  it’s hard enough just trying to live your life without comparing yourself to others, and when you feel like your dinners aren’t as healthy, your kids aren’t as smart, your running isn’t as fast, or your house isn’t as perfect, you can really begin to get down on yourself. I guess the normal – middle of the road stuff isn’t exciting enough to show up via social media. Whoops. I think that is all this blog is about.

Last week was Valentine’s Day and for us, it was pretty much another Thursday. Hubby had a group run scheduled that evening so I picked up Maddy and Libby and we made dinner consisting of heart shaped grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup, and strawberries. How romantic, right? I was pretty proud that the sandwiches were heart shaped, I used the Valentine’s Day plates, and the girls were excited to help me. I’m sure my photo on Instagram showed how wonderful it was.

It was pretty wonderful until about 10pm when Maddy wandered downstairs and threw up on Hubby, plus two sofa cushions. Or at midnight, when Libby threw up on the bedroom floor.

Yeah, up and down until 3am with sick twins is no fun way to spend any night, let alone Valentine’s Day.

So maybe the  fairy-dusted unicorn trodden path is better.  Because I don’t think anyone wanted to see the other relived.

Authenticity

I’m going to preface this by saying that  this original post has been in my drafts since Feb. 2011. I still don’t have the answer and it’s nearly 2 years later.

This past Sunday, we had a similar conversation at church in our small group aka Sunday School class. We all have different names, wear different titles, but who are we at our core, who is our authentic self. How do we learn how to just be ourselves.

This topic really weighed on me throughout the day and I guess I feel like I should know the answer. I know the titles that I wear: Mom, wife, daughter, sister, employee, volunteer, friend, etc. You could even add things like southerner and runner. But I feel like those are all just titles, or things that I do. Am I really different than any other Mom/Sister/Wife/Friend? We may do things differently, but that title certainly doesn’t make me unique.

Now, at nearly 40 (gulp), shouldn’t I know who I am? I will say, it was refreshing to see that others felt the same way, or that they had a hard time being themselves. I think from early on, we are taught what is “right” and “wrong” or “different” or “weird.” It’s very hard to find yourself as a 13-year-old and figure out that you are different. You just want to fit in, be liked, have approval of whomever is important to you. It’s probably much the same for 40 year olds comparing ourselves to others with the requisite house, 2.5 kids, minivan, a dog, a cat, and swim club membership.

Crap, and I still don’t have that other .5 of a kid.

Original post – 

I attended a Junior League women’s leadership training earlier this week with two friends. I love their company and I was glad that they agreed to go with me.
The speaker’s session was titled “Imagine You, Leading” and one of the first things she had us do was fill out/draw information about yourself. I wonder if anyone else heard the audible “ugggh” that came out of my chair.
I did agree with her statement about that we are all leaders … in our work, homes, churches, volunteer groups, social groups, etc.
But, I had the hardest time coming up with my list and found it easier to not take it too seriously.
What am I good at? I did say diaper changing and one of my friends said pumping. I can say that she really is good at pumping and I’m probably just OK at diaper changes.
How do I enjoy spending my free time? Ummm, reading, running, and drinking wine?
What is my life’s vision? Silence.
Can you answer this question?
I’ve never been one of those people who always knew what they wanted to be. Throughout my life, I can remember wanting to be a Veternarian, Fashion Designer, Artist, Writer, Public Relations Guru for Nike, Calligrapher, Stationery Store Owner, Stay at Home Mom, and a vagabond that works at Yellowstone National Park in the Summer and Jackson Hole all winter.
Do I know what I want to be? Is it crazy that I am almost 38(!) years old and I can’t answer this question?
This question spurred another conversation about who is the authentic Susan. Hell if I know.
So, I ask you, do you know who is the authentic you? If so, was it an aha moment, or just something that you have always known? I really hope this isn’t a mid-life crisis coming upon me.
Just wanted to post this to see if there are others out there that feel this way ~ I really didn’t mean to get all Deep Thoughts with Jack Handy on a Tuesday night.
I promise I will get back to tales of marathon training blisters, what flavor Gu is the best, how two four-year-olds can trash a house in .2 seconds, and what Zoe has pilfered off the counter this week.

Weekend

I needed a weekend like this one, and would definitely take more in the future.

In a nutshell, it consisted of “usual” activities, but they all just seemed to be a little more fun, have better weather, included friends, etc. Sadly, I don’t think I have a single picture, but then again … it really was just a regular weekend.

It started on Saturday with an 11 mile run. This was a 5-mile warm up followed by a 10K race. 

We had miles to get in and it was easier to do them prior to the race, and it does give you immediate rock star status when you run to the start of a race with 5 miles already on your Garmin. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt when 2 of you get a new PR and one of you ties your PR. Negative splits, baby.

I will admit, during the week, I am like a giant bear who doesn’t want to come out of hibernation to go run. On Saturday’s, I really look forward to my time to enjoy a cup of coffee so I get up extra early to enjoy it, eat breakfast, pack all of my gear, etc.

That afternoon, I headed to run errands and to the grocery and found a 50 cent pumpkin. At WalMart of all places. Early, but too cute not to buy it. Now I have an idea of a pumpkin tower/topiary in my planter and need to make it happen.

We had friends over for dinner … 4 adults, 4 kiddos, vino, hamburgers, corn on the cob, & chocolate chip cookies. Activities including running, jumping, coloring, swinging, playing & hugging (kiddos) and garmin geeking, cooking, drinking, adult convo, and a little football viewing (parents).

It’s nice to have friends that you can just relax with, let the kids run a little wild … and especially those who share your love for Garmins, red wine, cheese, and analyzing Facebook status updates.

Today included a rainy morning, church and small group (a first!), lunch (leftover sweet potato black bean enchilada pie), short nap, yoga, actually saving money at Verizon (another first!), dinner with the fam, baths for the girls, and an easy goodnight.

Like I said, nothing extraordinary, but definitely what the doctor ordered.

June 12

Today was our minister’s last day at our church. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around how someone who you may only ‘think’ about once a week is so ingrained in our lives. I’m assuming because he serves as our portal to God, if that is a proper description for a minister.

As I listed to his sermon today, I cried. I thought about hearing him preach for the first time, meeting with him during our pre-marriage counseling sessions, the night of our rehearsal dinner, the beautiful sermon he gave on our wedding day, how we consoled us and prayed with us when Maddy and Libby were in the NICU, and provided us with uplifting messages when we needed them and when we thought we didn’t.

Everyone around us was crying and it was almost surreal seeing grown men sob over what so many would see as a promotion and a time of congratulations.

He told us to always remember the mission of our church and that did ring true with me. You have to always go back to the basics and that is true for so many things. Relationships, parenting, houses, exercise, clothes, food, etc.

Yes, our church won’t be the same without him, but his twelve years of service have made so many remarkable changes, but I will remember the basics.

Still here.

I’ve heard from a few friends wondering what happened to the blog. Well, it’s still here, I’m still here, just haven’t made the time to write in the last, oh, six weeks! How did that happen!?

Life in a nutshell …

Busy time as President-Elect for the Junior League: writing a speech, giving a speech, preparing a board retreat, lots of meetings, burning up the phone, traveling to Philly, and trying to make time for some strategic/big picture thinking.

Working part-time … from home, thank goodness.

The girls are amazing. Growing up. Almost 3. Independent, funny, sweet, communicating, lots of pretend-play, hugs and kisses, tantrums and foot stomping. Typical almost 3 year old behavior.

We had a busy weekend … pool, yard work, church, coffee, run with friends, burgers on the grill, seasonal summer beers, popsicles in the freezer. Lots of fun and much needed.

Hopefully, I can get back in the swing of this soon. I miss writing, but often find myself with nothing to write about, so I just read more blogs.

>Thankful

>Today, I am thankful for

Starbucks grande skim vanilla lattes
Mucinex
Neti Pot sinus relief thingy
Daffodils blooming in my yard
Two two-year-olds that napped from 2-4:30pm
Returned phone calls

Jelly beans in Hubby’s grocery bag
A favorite sitter with availability

A meeting free evening and dinner plans with the fam

>Blog, neglected.

>

I’m still here and still checking your blogs … just not updating mine.

I’ll fill you in on the latest. I feel like this post is one large whiny rambling, but maybe I’ll just hit publish instead of save and be done with it.

I’ve been busy feeding hungry children and helping adults learn to read through my position with the Junior League. Oh, ok … so I’m not single-handedly doing this, but our organization is. Doesn’t that sound better than saying I’m going to meetings every morning and night? Is handedly a word? I’m not complaining … it is all very rewarding, but my schedule has been a bit crazy to say the least.

I’ve also been thinking about my personal vision statement. This could be an entire post, but it all relates back to a seminar I recently attended and the speaker asked if we had our own personal vision for our life. I could hear the crickets chirping in my head. Do you have one? I truly had to joke my way through that seminar, even when I’m sure I should have been taking it seriously.

Maddy and Libby have learned to open our back door, and while they haven’t escaped just yet, the dogs are certainly enjoying this new skill.
I have a knot on the back of my neck … does this mean I need a massage, or is it a tumor?
I also have a cold. Boooo. It’s definitely not making me feel like doing anything that I need to do and I’ve been injesting large amounts of Vitamin C, cold medicine, saline nasal spray, and graham crackers. Not that graham crackers will cure a cold, but for some reason they taste pretty good.
It’s 9:28, off to refill my water bottle, put the doggies to bed, take some more cold medicine, and go to bed. Night-night.